Changes in Insurance Asset Management

Hiring Trends & Evolution of Roles:

  • Investment professionals with strong backgrounds in liability driven investments are in high demand.
  • Insurance Asset Managers seek investors who are deep investment thinkers and can manage a wide spectrum of topics, investment strategies and products.
  • Alternative asset managers and some multi-product firms see opportunities in the insurance space and are hiring dedicated institutional staff.
  • Many insurance companies are re-evaluating senior leadership and have launched searches to bring in outside CIOs Solutions mindset.
  • Insurance companies are reevaluating their asset allocation process focusing on Manager of External Managers or Head of Manager Selection roles.
  • All firms require strong technical knowledge and credentials i.e. CFA for both Institutional Sales and Research/Portfolio Management roles.

Compensation Trends:

  • Outsources assets are up, but mandates are smaller; this dynamic is putting economic pressure on margins and compensation.
  • Compensation is flat and bonuses are down in some cases.
  • Pay for performance continues to dominate compensation packages.
  • Increasingly, firms are moving away from incentive and commission based packages to discretionary bonuses for sales. This is indicative of a more team/client-centered approach.
  • Firms with large percentages of deferred discretionary compensation are having difficulty attracting and retaining employees.
  • For new product initiatives, some type of guarantee of between 1-2 years is required to gain access to top talent.

Candidate Considerations:

  • Candidates seek strong internal commitment from senior leadership and constituents must be clear and well-articulated.
  • The vision has to be crisp – what are the goals and objectives.
  • Understanding of what success will look like including a specific time frame.
  • Are all areas of the organization supportive and on board with new initiatives.
  • Employees/Candidates willing to walk away from “golden handcuffs” in favor of firms with more stability and diversity of product offerings.